a meditation on personhood
by Ken John 1/16/2013 / Christian Living
Genesis 1: 24-31
As a baby in the womb is encircled, brooded over by, immersed in the fluids of the mother. So the earth, unconscious, yet fertile with life; encircled, brooded over and immersed in the creative mind of God, began to produce the living creatures whose offspring populate the land today. Within the sixth day of creation, God spoke it all into being. Of course it was good.
Then God began the final phase of creation. Where nothing had existed before God began to speak, now he begins the last phase of his creation, the creating of mankind, creatures to fulfill a specific function; to do something, and not just to be. To rule over fish and birds, sea and sky, domesticated animals and wild animals. Yet not just to do, also to be; to be in God's image, in the likeness of the Creator! Somehow, to represent him in his task of rulership on earth. How powerful and how privileged we are in our being. Even just being, we exercise this position, our purpose and worth are clear! Made in the image of God, male and female - in the image of God!
Not that our worth is in ourselves. In our genetic and spiritual code, we are fallen from that first closeness to God, yet our worth is nevertheless sourced in the Creator. We are validated as creatures, not by our work and status among ourselves; the boost derived from earthly kudos quickly fades, especially so in comparison to the rewards of seeing ourselves as created in the image of the creator God. When illuminated by that perfection, power, knowledge, strength and completeness, we see our worth is no less (and no more) than what we have received from the hand of the Creator. Our responsibilities and the duties of reality are real, but our adequacy is given us, and our purpose is ultimately in God, and according to the order which God created and continuously creates.
Simply put, creation exists and we also exist, brought into being by that same benevolent Hand. We are to rule over and accumulate knowledge of this creation; we are part of it, and yet we rule over creation, and bear the image and likeness of the One who originally created, and from whom all sprang in creative obedience! God has also placed eternity in our hearts. For these reasons and by reason of the redemptive initiative God takes towards us, God is our home even more so than this earth, after all, this creation is held together in God, and we too must find our eternal home in him.